What Makes New York Pizza, New York Pizza?

From what I have gathered, use a higher protein flour like All Trumps, make it thin with a small outer crust and light on the toppings.

Does it matter if it is hand tossed, sheeted or rolled?
Should there be an outer crust or uniform all the way out?

Everyone seems to have their own interpretation but I wonder if there are a couple things that are consistent to make it a New York Pizza???

This may just be hearsay, but I’ve heard that real New York pizzerias have coal fired ovens that hit a higher temperature than normal, and that they impart a unique flavor to the pizza. Other than that, I think chewy, thin crust and a sauce that isn’t too sweet, but I’m no expert.

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Incidentally, a quick wiki search of “New York style pizza” turned up the following:

Though coal fired ovens are not mentioned, a search for them turned up numerous references to their use in early NYC pizzerias, such as Lombardi’s. So though I still don’t claim any expertise on the subject, it would appear that I wasn’t wrong.

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Uh, let’s get back on topic.

Well, we classify New York Pizza into two categories: Street and Elite

New York Street Pizza is made with a high gluten flour, a 58% or so hydration level, hand tossed and topped with a basic crushed tomato pizza sauce, indeed not sweet. Generally a whole milk mozzarella or a 50 / 50 whole milk / low moisture blend will be used. Baked in a deck oven 3/4’s of the way, and finished off when someone wants a slice. Simple. Yummy. Good. Can be had just about anywhere in the 5 boros.

New York “Elite” Pizza is a different beast entirely, and most of it comes from Brooklyn- DiFara, Lucali, Totonnos, Patsy’s, Grimaldi’s, etc. - this is a much “darker” pizza, more rustic, typically cooked in a coal oven, or a very hot and very old deck oven. FRESH Mozzarella, crushed tomatoes, blackened crust, etc. The best of the best.

Hope this was somewhat helpful.

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Alright, knock it off.

pizzapirate- I’ve included a series of links for “New York Street Style” and “New York Elite Style” pizzas.

Street Style:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3241/287 … b7.jpg?v=0
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/113/2748 … 01.jpg?v=0
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/90/27486 … 33.jpg?v=0
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/96/25846 … bb.jpg?v=0

Elite Style:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/184/4452 … bf.jpg?v=0
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/56/12158 … 6d.jpg?v=0
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2279/251 … d9.jpg?v=0
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/32/42123 … ff.jpg?v=0

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This is NOT the place for this. Knock it off.

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OK people we need to play nice here. I have deleted and edited this thread to get it back on topic. I know this is censorship but I would like to keep this forum on a professional level.

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hmmmm, not sure what happened here as I return to the forum . . .

Thanks for all the info. The description and pic looks pretty similar to the cracker crust from Recipe Bank. At least when I followed that recipe it was the result I achieved. We decided against producing such a pie as it does not hold heat well. By the time I got home with one it was cold which really inhibits all that good tomato flavor you get with such a crust.

Looks like what we may be trying to create is the “American Thin Crust” as referred to in the Recipe Bank. Seems the American thin crust is just given a bit more rise/thickness.

We serve a premium pizza with a premium price and want to offer a pie at a different price point to capture a bigger audience – especially given these economic times. My thought was to introduce a “New York Thin Crust” with light sauce and cheese and leaner toppings. I don’t see going as thin as the pics above because of the lack of heat retention and our sauce “is” sweet. New York pizza sounds good to people but I hate to bastardize a name or term as done by many of the big chains. If that is what I would be doing with sweet sauce and a bit thicker crust???

I see a lot of pizza places serving “New York Pizza” and they are all very different.

i think the main ingredients to a new york style pizza are a thin foldable crust baked fast at a high temp with some charring on the bottom, a fairly lightly seasoned sauce with a good tomato product, a light amount of a good quality cheese and i have noticed some of the new york style pizzas they also drizzle some olive oil over the top before baking and that makes it a little “greasier”

these are just my opinions

Time for one of my signature hair brained ideas! A few years ago, a couple of pizzerias opened up in Seattle boasting “traditional Neapolitan pizza” and backing up their claim with Verace Pizza Napoletana Americas (VPN) certification. In order to hold those certificates, they have to adhere to certain principles of traditional Neapolitan pizza making and topping (no pepperoni!) and be periodically inspected, sort of like being Kosher. Both of these shops not only make killer pizza, but are stuffed to the rafters every single night, fancy certifications go over pretty well with the Seattle crowd that always seeks “authenticity”.

Well my idea is to set up a similar certification board for some of the better known American styles, NYC, Chicago deep dish, Philadelphia, etc. It seems every few years than one or another of the Big 3 or their imitators roles out a knock off of one of these styles, and that might be confusing the consumer about what the real deal is supposed to taste like. An “American Regional Pizza Institute” could first determine exactly what makes a particular pizza taste a particular way, and control for variables such as flour type, minerals in the water, oven type/temperature, etc. Once an optimum technique was agreed upon for each style, a certification could be created that guarantee that pizzerias following the standards are turning out an authentic product, with periodic re-certifications to insure adherence. There would be some initial costs involved, but once people got the idea the when they see the “certified authentic by the ARPI” seal of approval on a menu that they’re in for a treat, I think it would more than pay for itself. It could become a distinguishing “hook” for a new store opening, or a feather in the cap of an existing store proving their commitment to quality.

Think of it like the European Appellation d’origine contrôlée for regional delicacies, if you see the AOC certificate on something, you know it’s the real thing and it’s going to be good. Why shouldn’t great American foods have a similar system to discourage pale imitations?

  1. Crushing to the foundation of our free market society
  2. An added cost to a small business is an added cost
  3. The VPN is a joke, half of the VPN pizzerias are really, really, terrible. It turns out a formulaic system doesn’t matter if it’s used as a showpiece and the owners don’t care about the product.


My apologies for taking the swipe at Dox. It was rude. Not sure what else was said since, but I expect I was the cause. A bad day is not my responsibility. My response to a bad day is. I responded poorly. Sorry, Dox and sorry TT’ers.

Totally agree.

To clarify, I’m not talking about some sort of mandatory thing, but more of an advertising tool to assure customers of a quality product and draw in more people who are looking for quality pizza. My admittedly small experience with VPN shops has been good, what really got my attention was that when the first of the shops opened, several local papers profiled the place and mentioned the VPN certification prominently, and that got my butt in the door, as well as a good chunk of Seattle, to judge from the weeknight crowds (the shop I’m talking about is called “Tutta Bella” BTW). I just got to thinking that there is so much dissension over what exactly comprises the different styles of American pizza, that a “certificate of authenticity” could be a useful two for one from a marketing standpoint. I’m certainly not advocating some sort of exclusivity thing, like copyrighting the names or something, just an in-industry vetting process and accompanying logos and plaques.

I thinkthe response about market restriction is about the fact that once something becomes “certified”, it often then becomes a restricted label in the marketplace, enforceable by legal action. Only by going through the process and paying whatever fee could a small operation who is trying to approximate a style use the term.

I tend to be a free market sort of guy. Let the consumer judge with their dollars and feet. Get someone to prepare a general description of the orthodoxy of a style, and produce posters and labels and marketing materials. Just remmber that the orthodoxy is just one thread of a usually VERY diverse style when talking about Chicago and New York izza. Lombardis is just one expression of New York style . … does eveyone have to do it that way to be New York style? First one to the government agency dealing with licensing and trademarking and such gets to make the rules. the eveyone else is stck with them, whether good or not.

Hmm, I think I’m still being misunderstood here. What I’m thinking of is more akin to a “seal of approval” than a government certification, more along the lines of getting a great review from a magazine and posting it on the wall, or a Michelin star. The trick would be for the issuing company to develop credibility with consumers, sort of like a “Consumer Reports” for pizza. A shop would pay them an evaluation fee, and if they passed they got to put a “Seal of Approval” and associated logos on their product and marketing. It could be a small up front fee combined with the restaurant posting links and such leading back to the certifying company, boosting it’s effectiveness and credibility. As said, the major issue would be that the certifying company be taken seriously by the consumer, and not seen as just rubber stamping anyone who paid them.